Labor Department Tightens Some H-2A Rules

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The U.S. Department of Labor issued new rules for hiring H-2A workers that tighten housing and food standards. Industry Update Dot Com also says the new rules clarify that farm associations can be held liable for violations by individual farmers. The new rules canceled a series of broader changes proposed by the Trump administration, some of which were implemented in January 2020. The new rules will take effect on November 14, and the Labor Department says the rules will “strengthen worker protections, modernize and simplify the application process for H-2A and temporary labor certification, and ease the regulatory burden on employers.” The department emphasized in the rule that it doesn’t have legal authority to allow H-2A workers to work year-round in the country. H-2A workers are still limited to seasonal work only. The House-passed Agriculture Workforce Modernization Bill that stalled in the Senate would have allowed a limited number of year-round H-2A visas.

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